Gramercy Tavern, New York City, 9/19/14

Exterior
Exterior

WOW! I could write forever about this place – a wonderful experience on so many levels! The restaurant offers 2 tasting menus, one seasonal and the other vegetarian. They do not offer wine pairings but the staff were very helpful in advising on wine selection. In fact the staff was awesome and there was no pressure to eat and move on so the table could be turned.

They have a cookbook!
They have a cookbook!
Dining room
Dining room

We started the meal with a cocktail and the waiter sensibly held off starting the meal until we were ready to drink wine. The room buzzed with people and conversation but there was no difficulty hearing who was at your table. I’m glad we sat at the back, though, because the tables located nearer to the bar might have had a noise issue.

They do not make their bread selection, sourdough or chive, in house but both were very acceptable although not outstanding. Where they stood out is the food. The amuse bouche oat cracker was a delightful way to get started – a mix of textures and strong tastes. The arctic char was delicately smoked and all components in the dish were very good alone as well as together. Little seeds on top gave it a lovely crunch. The halibut was tender and served in a wonderfully strong mushroom broth. The tagliatelle had just the right amount of spiciness to make it interesting. Then the duck breast came and I thought I’d died and gone to heaven! I’ve had a lot of duck breasts but this was the best ever. It exploded with flavor in your mouth and they managed to avoid the livery taste many breasts have. Finishing with the plum dessert was a perfect amount of sweetness to end on and presenting us with a complimentary glass of dessert wine was a really nice touch.

The portions and timing here are perfect. Big enough to give you a good sample but not too much. The food was full of flavor but not heavy, an amazing feat. It was presented elegantly but they did not forget that the most important part is the taste. I can see why this is a tough reservation to get, but I’ll be on the list next chance I get!

Nice table setting
Nice table setting
butter and salt
butter and salt
sour dough bread, not made in house
sour dough bread, not made in house
Oat cracker with summer squash and house made ricotta
Oat cracker with summer squash and house made ricotta
Wine
Wine
Delicated smoked artic char with new potatoes, capers and salsa verde
Delicated smoked artic char with new potatoes, capers and salsa verde
Sea scallop with braised kombu, cucumbers and preserved lemon
Sea scallop with braised kombu, cucumbers and preserved lemon
Did she eat that butter?
Did she eat that butter?
Slow cooked halibut with bok choy, green garlic and mushroom broth
Slow cooked halibut with bok choy, green garlic and mushroom broth
Halibut plating
Halibut plating
wine back
wine back
wine
wine
Spicy squid ink tagliatelle with lobster, bell peppers and tomato confit
Spicy squid ink tagliatelle with lobster, bell peppers and tomato confit
Duck breast with corn, peaches and okra
Duck breast with corn, peaches and okra
Duck as plated
Duck as plated
Sweet tomato and ricotta
Sweet tomato and ricotta
Coffee time!
Coffee time!

IMG_2300

Plum with panna cotta, tapioca pudding, coconut custard and ginger granita
Plum with panna cotta, tapioca pudding, coconut custard and ginger granita
A parting gift!
A parting gift!
Kitchen (mostly cooks for the bar here)
Kitchen (mostly cooks for the bar here)
Our chef and the main kitchen
Our chef and the main kitchen
Bar area
Bar area

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